In spite of what you may be hearing from some bloggers and Internet-marketing providers (people who think the Web is the only way to get information), 65 percent of new customers to self-storage still use the Yellow Pages (YP) to help them choose the right facility for their belongings.
When times get tough, people want the best value without sacrificing quality. If your usual customer is a value shopper rather than a price shopper, you have to use every possible opportunity to advertise your specials. Almost every self-storage facility has a special offer—senior or military discounts, free locks or rent, or free use of a truck for move-in. You don’t have to give away anything more than usual to capture these potential tenants, just expand your YP opportunities.
Most of the major YP publishers have coupon sections in their directories, and your representative will most likely try to sell you on the value of coupons. However, if you ask for studies on how YP coupons have performed in delivering new customers, they will likely not be able to prove the coupons’ value. This lack of hard data gives you the upper hand in getting the best deal on this additional advertising.
YP rates typically go up 2 percent to 5 percent every year, but your return on investment (ROI) doesn’t increase at that rate. When negotiating your YP advertising, use that information to ask for a coupon page to increase ROI—and start by asking for it for free. You may be surprised at the response. If that doesn’t work, let your rep know you’re willing to pay very little to test something that may not have proven value.